Book Review: Saving Truth:Finding Meaning and Clarity In a Post-Truth World
By Ricardo Martinez
Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity In a Post-Truth World is the latest book by Abdu Murray. He is a North American Director of RZIM, a Public Speaker and an attorney receiving his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School with a BA in Psychology from Michigan University. A former Shia Muslim he would later give his life to Christ and dedicate it to reaching the lost.
Saving Truth is a book that quite frankly needed to be written. Abdu starts off defining post-truth in particular in contrast to post-modernism. This was eye-opening to me as I have heard of post-modernism but not post-truth. Just as one would expect an attorney to do, he distinguishes between two modes of post-truth. The first is a “soft” mode in which one acknowledges that truth exists but our feelings and opinions trump that truth. The second is a “hard” mode in which one propagates falsehoods on purpose knowing them to be such in order to serve their social or political purpose. This differs from post-modernism as it rejects objective truth as its defining characteristic.[ref]Abdu Murray, Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity In a Post-Truth World, pg. 9-10[/ref] This issue of post-truth is what he addresses in this book.
Abdu does however make another distinction that is key to unlocking the issues surrounding the “Culture of Confusion” concerning post-truth, and that is in the area of freedom, which Abdu often comes back to. He makes it known that freedom and autonomy are not actually synonymous. Autonomy is the notion that the self (Greek: autos) is a law (Greek: nomos) unto themselves without utter constraints. But as Abdu points out, freedom has two facets: negative and positive. Negative freedom is from interference as well as constraint, and positive freedom is for excellence. He says:
“In other words, positive freedom is the ability to do not just what we want, but what we should.”[ref]Ibid, pg. 71[/ref]
You need the latter with the former to avoid the chaos that is autonomy.
Lastly I think Abdu makes sure one understands that it is in the Christian worldview that the foundations of objective moral values and duties can have a basis. One can see that without God good and evil as such do not exist, so that in denying God one pulls out the basis/foundation for ethics. Abdu makes it clear that this is about the basis of morality and doesn’t want to imply that those who believe in naturalism do not have a moral compass, they just have no basis in their naturalistic worldview to justify it.
This book is divided into 9 Chapters and the book itself is pretty large at about 245 pages. This, coupled with the fact that it introduces multiple concepts that the lay person may not know, may make it a book that requires a tad more thinking. If you wanted a newspaper, simple novel or something of that type of reading level then I would advise you to look elsewhere. This is a book that tackles in simple terms very important topics of our day related to post-truth and its mindset. He even covers things like LGBT issues, human dignity, the so-called issues of faith vs science, etc. Despite its length and the seriousness of the topics, I think Abdu keeps it simple, fresh, relevant and gives us knowledge of something very important. This wasn’t a perfect book as I found some concepts, though explained well, were very brief and there was even something he quoted I don’t think the person meant. However, despite these things I think overall Abdu does a fantastic job and this volume shouldn’t be overlooked. For the person who isn’t a Christian I think this will be a invaluable resource, as it doesn’t matter where a view came from but whether it is true. I think Abdu demonstrates that post-truth is a flawed worldview and should therefore be rejected.